My first grader has had an excellent experience at Santa Margarita. The entire staff is professional and very dedicated. The admin staff and teachers are very open to communication with parents.
I can only speak for 1st grade, but the class sizes are around 20 students in each of the 5 classes. Homework comes home 1x/week and includes worksheet activity and 20min of online language arts and online math that is tailored to the individual child's level.
The school promotes health and wellness in the cafeteria and with a running club before school that is open to all students. As a standard 1x/week they get PE, library, and STEAM. There is no Art or Music instruction for lower grades.
This is a GREAT school because the leadership and individual teachers continuously try to find ways to challenge students academically , promote character values, and have fun at school assemblies and at school dress up days and holiday celebrations involving student creativity.
First of all, some of this information is outdated. 1. This school is K-7 and is adding 8th grade next year. 2. The average class size is no where near 21. In fact, it's over 30. And we'll over 30 in many. Last year was our first year here, and I was mortified by the class sizes. I feel like we were very lucky and both of our children had great teachers, both who were used to teaching in CA with these huge classes. We are moving soon, and I guess we'll see when we get where we're going if our kids are behind. The experiences we've had at this school have all been good. I honestly believe it takes a special person to be. Teacher, but it takes a saint to put yourself in front of a class of more than 30 elementary school children.
Having my child there from kinder to 3rd grade, I have seen the good and the bad. No school is perfect. However the amount of support my daughter has gotten from the staff-from noon duties to the principal- has been nothing short of amazing. The speech therapist Ms Landini is my childs speech therapist and we have made strides, especially since her syndrome is what causes her impediment. Pat Kurtz has taken every accomplishment my child has made since kinder like she was her parent, always supporting her and beaming when that time came. Even the office staff knows my child and takes special interest in her well being. Mr Frank, the janitor, is one of the nicest people and ensures that my daughter eats every day (she has a tendency to forget), and has taught her a lot about responsibility. My daughters 3rd grade teacher, Mr Tiger, has literally turned my daughter from an insecure, unmotivated child, to a beaming, confident, spunky little girl. I have had an exceptionally good experience here, and I am sad we are leaving next year. The amount of support the school provides is amazing, and I hope that we can find a school for her next year that can match that of Santa Margarita.
Excellent school, for being overcrowded at the new campus they handle things well. The teachers are all great, and genuinely care for the kids. My son has gone there from Kindergarden to 5th grade, and my daughter has from K-2 so far. I have had nothing but positive things to say about the teachers and staff. I wish I weren't moving this summer- I would love for my daughter to finish elementary there as well. The only things that are lacking are an arts/drama program (not the school's fault- California's budget is to blame), the music program could be more extensive (again- not the school's fault), and the class sizes could be smaller (the trend continues- not the school's fault).
My kids have been going to this school since November. The first couple of months I liked the school and was very surprised at how great they were with some of my daughters learning disabilities. However, now that it is May I am completely unsatisfied for a number of reasons! The lack of control that I have seen in both childrens classrooms makes me very sad. We had an incident on the bus and I went in to talk to the school about it they were very helpful up until another parent walked in behind me -they couldn't get me out of there fast enough! They have a very poor system set up for communicating with the parents on different things that are going on in the school - for example when is backwards day or Western day...these are days that my kids get very upset if they are left out of. There had also been a few days that I had no idea that it was a half day and luckily found out from other parents. I am now picking my kids up from school and they have somehow let my daughter get on the bus twice in a row now!! I also do not feel confident that if I were ever a few mintues late to pick them up that they would be supervised.
Our daughter has attended Santa Margarita for the past 2 years and we are extremely pleased with her education so far and she is either at the same level or ahead of family and friends who live in various areas around the country. We love that the school is in tune with military kids sometimes unique needs and the communication between parents, teachers, and the school has been wonderful. Overall we are happy with Santa Margarita and are excited that we get to continue here for the next few years.
I read good reviews about this school before we moved here. My daughter spent her entire 4th grade year here repeating what she had already learned in 2nd and 3rd grade in VA. This is true in Science, History, and Math....especially math. She was multiplying and dividing like a pro in 3rd grade in VA, even scoring a perfect 600 on the end of the year state exam. Here Everyday Math has her regressing to the extreme. She is now rusty in a subject she mastered before. The GATE program is good. And, that is about it. If I could take the GATE program back with us to the East coast, that would be great. Otherwise, we will have to work with her quite a bit in the summer before we move back to another state. It is really sad when a honor roll/gifted student is in this position.
My daughter is just about to finish Kindergarten at Santa Margarita (which is not the school that we originally hoped she would attend) and she has progressed more than we could have ever expected. She is reading, telling time, doing simple multiplying and dividing, and her handwriting has improved leaps and bounds. During this school year my husband was deployed and her teacher and the whole staff were wonderfu in making sure that everything was going well and that she was keeping her spirits up. The are all very caring. Ms. Kurtz took the time to write a small note on each of their report cards and I think that goes above and beyond what she has to do. I am extremely pleased with this school and hope that we are able to continue here for awhile.